NASA’s OSIRIS REx Arrives at Asteroid Bennu with Interpoint® DC-DC Converters on Board

NASA’s OSIRIS REx Arrives at Asteroid Bennu with Interpoint® DC-DC Converters on Board

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Nearly two years after its launch, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is in the midst of a seven-year mission that could provide answers about the solar system’s formation and also ensure our safety on earth.

OSIRIS-REx has been busy surveying Bennu — a near-earth, 492-meter in diameter carbonaceous asteroid — since its arrival at the space rock in December 2018. The spacecraft launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Sept. 8, 2016.

Scanning Bennu’s surface is part of a multi-step mission for NASA, which wants to collect samples of the asteroid that scientists can study. As of August 2019, NASA has selected four potential landing spots for the OSIRIS-REx to complete a touch-and-go maneuver that will quickly collect samples of Bennu’s surface. Sample collection is scheduled for July 2020. OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to start its journey home in March 2021 before safely delivering a sample return capsule September 2023 in the Utah desert.

Scientists are studying Bennu because of its near-earth accessibility, its size and its carbon-rich composition. Bennu is also a potentially hazardous asteroid. Scientists believe it has a 1-in-2,700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175-2199. Scientists say studying its physical and chemical properties will be critical in case there is a need for a future impact-mitigation mission.

If successful, this will be the first U.S. spacecraft to return samples form an asteroid, and Crane Aerospace & Electronics is proud to be a part of OSIRIS-REx’s historic space operation.

Crane is supplying numerous DC-DC converters and EMI filters for the mission. Interpoint DC-DC converters are used in electrical power systems on the spacecraft and are designed for high reliability and performance in the demanding environments of space.

OSIRIS-REx is the latest mission supporting by Crane, which has a long lineage of providing complex components for critical space missions. Crane Interpoint and DC-DC converters have flown on previous NASA missions such as the Insight, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, the Hubble Telescope and more.

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